GenCon 2018 - Media Roundtable

Release Date: Aug. 15, 2018

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Running Time:   46 min.

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We invite a fun-loving group of people in the gaming media to join us for a free-wheeling chat on a variety of topics both serious and silly. 

The panel:

Scott "Aldie" Alden (Board Game Geek)

Bebo (Be Bold Games)

Marguerite Cottrell (Meeples Included)

Eric Summerer (The Dice Tower)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

GenCon 2018 - The Art of the Pitch

Release Date: Aug. 14, 2018

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Running Time:   35 min.

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You're a game designer. You've put in the hours playtesting, revising, playtesting, writing rules, playtesting, making prototypes and playtesting some more. Until, at last, the day comes when the game is ready for its first pitch to a publisher.

The question is, are you ready?

The art of the pitch is a learnable skill. And our panel of experienced game designers and publishers  will walk you through the essential elements.

When and how to schedule the pitch? 

What materials or documents to prepare?

How to craft an engaging but brief explanation for your game.

Learn the art of the pitch and you'll have a better chance of making your game stand out from the crowd.

This panel features:

Mike Selinker (game designer, Lone Shark Games)

Stephen Buonocore (Stronghold Games)

Tim WK Brown (game designer)

Erica Bouyouris (game designer)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

GenCon 2018 - Games as Teaching Tools

Release Date: Aug. 13, 2018

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Running Time:   42 min.

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Games can be brilliant teaching tools both in the classroom and beyond it.

We discuss how each panelist uses games in creative ways to facilitate learning and develop life skills.

This panel features:

John Knoerzer (Licensed Clinical Social Worker)  

Beth Heile (speech therapist, assistive technology expert)

Kathleen Mercury (middle school teacher, game designer)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

GenCon 2018 - Representation in Board Games

Release Date: Aug. 10, 2018

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Running Time:   57 min.

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Whether we talk about race or gender or sexuality or religion or culture, the world of games is a distorted mirror - many players who love and share our passion for play cannot find themselves when they look into it.

And that makes us all the poorer for it. 

But playing teaches us that we have the power to change the rules. To make things more inclusive, to insure that all of us have seats at the table and can find the fun and joy we know lives in games. Our love of play, being players, allows us to imagine and create spaces where all are welcome and all are present.

As publishers, designers, and players, what choices can we make and what steps can we take to help the world of games include and reflect the vast variety of fun loving players in it?

This panel features:

Sen Foong Lim (designer, Junk Art, Belfort & many others)

Marguerite Cottrell (Meeples Included)

Isaac Vega (Plaid Hat Games, designer Dead of Winter, Ashes)

Katie Aidley (Katies Game Corner)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

GenCon 2018 - Game Development

Release Date: August 9, 2018

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Running Time:   39 min.

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Every game makes a journey from designer to publisher to manufacturer to seller and at last to the players.

But there’s part of this journey that's often invisible to those outside the industry: game development.

Games go through different stages of development between designer and publisher, with each trying to bring the game into a finished, polished publishable form. It’s part negotiation, part balancing act between great ideas and basic logistics and costs.

We delve into how different designers and publishers approach the development process, hoping to walk away with a better appreciation of how important this step is to the life of any game.

This panel features:

Matt Leacock (designer, Pandemic & many others)

Christopher Badell (Greater Than Games)

Ray Wehrs (Calliope Games)

Jason Hill (Flying Frog Productions)

Geoff Engelstein (designer, podcaster, teacher)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 300: Anansi and Take The A Chord

Release Date: June 26, 2018

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Running Time:   150 min.

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The Coleson-Conway era of The Spiel comes to a close with a celebration of our shared passion and love of trick-taking card games.

We review Anansi and Take the A Chord and delve into the history of Jeux de Tarot.

Anansi is a role-selection trick taker where players gain the abilities of animals from West African myths. Score points based on the tricks you take and avoid becoming the Fool.

Take the A Chord is a jazz themed trick taker where the Key (and the game) can change with a single card. Watch out for improvisations and try to take just the right number of tricks to win.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 299: Heaven & Ale

Release Date: June 14, 2018

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Running Time:   118 min.

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In Heaven & Ale, you are the master brewer at a German monastery in the Middle Ages. Your goal is to create beer that will please your fellow monks, the people in nearby towns AND (hopefully!) the big guy upstairs. 

Gather hops, water, barley, and yeast and recruit monks to build your brewery from the sunniest hilltop to the shadiest grove.

Each decision is fun and challenging and leads to an innovative scoring system that packs a great cerebral punch. 

Heaven & Ale will leave you wanting to explore the game from a new angle every time you play. 

And if you’re like us, the game will also make you thirsty. Make sure you’ve got at least a few dunkelweissen’s nearby any time you decide to play.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 297: Decrypto

Release Date: May 28, 2018

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Running Time:   80 min.

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Your team of spies intercepts a secret transmission... 3 words... a code tied to a sequence of numbers. There it is again! Another transmission, but this time with 3 new words.

Can you decipher these words into the proper sequence when the pressure is on? Remember, the other team is listening and trying to unravel your words and your seuqence at the same time!

Decrypto is a wonderful call and response party game where the challenge is to come up with clues that are just enough left of center to keep the other team from connecting the dots AND not so crazy that you fool your own team in the process. 

The more clues you give, the harder this becomes and the more laughs you'll have. And that's a sequence that spells Major Fun!

Listen in for a full review and discussion.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 296: Spirit Island


Release Date: May 16, 2018

Download: PDF

Designer: R. Eric Reuss

Publisher:  Greater Than Games

1-4 pl  | 90 min  |  ages 13+  |  MSRP $80


Spirit Island is a cooperative game where each player becomes a force of Nature, hellbent on forcing European invaders to abandon their colony. Each Spirit has its own set of powers and playstyle that will help stem the invaders' progress.

Fear is your ally but time is short. Can you build enough terror in the hearts of these would-be conquerors to send them home before the island succumbs to Blight? Can you Spirits save the Island, the last place of true magic on Earth?

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 295: Professor Evil & The Citadel of Time

Release Date: May 10, 2018

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Running Time:   105 min.

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High atop a mountain in his castle, Professor Evil uses his time machine to rob the world of priceless antiques: the Mona Lisa, the Rosetta Stone, even Excalibur. He revels in his private gallery, the most secure one-person museum in the universe… his very own Citadel of Time.

Your small group of adventurers has been sent to sneak in to the Citadel and rescue at least four treasures before they are locked away. You must work your way past traps and locked doors and avoid Professor Evil himself as he wanders through the castle.  

Whether you play Destiny Bradshaw, Mistress of Randomness, or Edward Wire, Lord of the Gears, the clock is ticking and time is not your friend. Get in and get the treasures before they are lost forever!

Professor Evil & The Citadel of Time feels like a game from a bygone era mixed with the care and thought of modern design. It's charming, engaging, great for players young and old, and sure to provide many hours of Major Fun.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.